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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 13, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST

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we begin, as we do, every night, keeping them honest. tonight we're going to show you
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you a place it's so horrific, it's hard to believe it exists. it's a modern-day concentration camp. a network of prisons that houses men, women and children. this concentration camp is in north korea, a country that is right now publicly celebrating the launch of a missile, a missile that has much of the world's media talking. >> after four successful failures, north korea shocked the world with this successful launch, with rockets powerful enough to reach our shores. >> testing a long-range ballistic miss that'll could someday be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon across the pacific ocean. >> nuclear warhead to the west coast of the united states. >> north korean tv show the images like these of people publicly celebrating in north korea. tonight, a u.s. official tells cnn, there are early signs the koreans are not in total control of the device. but a north korean government-run tv, the news anchor was giddy with excitement. keeping them honest. pyongyang reportedly spent more than $1 billion on their missile
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program this year alone, money they could feed a lot of hungry, starving people in north korea. but while much of the world is talking about missiles tonight, there is a crime against humety occurring in that country. a crime that receives very little attention. as i said, some 150,000 people are believed to be doing hard labor on the brink of starvation, in a network of hidden gulags. it doesn't house just those who have been accused of political crimes, however. these prisons house their entire families, grandparents, parents, children. it's a system called three generations of punishment. imagine if you were accused of a crime and sent to a concentration camp. but to truly punish you, they would send your parents and your children. three generations of your family simply disappeared. the most notorious of these prison camps is called camp 14. we know about it because of a man shin dong-hyuk. i originally spoke with him for
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cbs' "60 minutes." he not only escaped from camp 14 but he was actually born there. he's believed to be the only person born and raised in the camps who has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. did anybody ever explain to you why you were in a camp? >> translator: no, never. because i was born there, i just thought those people who carry guns were born to carry guns. and prisoners, like me, were born as prisoners. >> did you know america existed? >> translator: not at all. >> did you know that the world was round? >> translator: i had no idea if it was round or square. >> camp 14 was all that he says he knew for the first 23 years of his life. these satellite images are the only glimpse outsiders have ever gotten of the place. 15,000 people are believed to be imprisoned here, forced to live and work in this bleak collection of houses, factories, fields and mines, surrounded by an electrified fence. growing up, did you ever think
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about escaping? >> translator: that never crossed my mind. >> never crossed your mind? >> translator: no, never. what i thought was the society outside the camp would be similar to that inside the camp. >> you thought everybody lived in a prison camp like this? >> translator: yes. >> he told us this is the house where he was born. his mother and father were prisoners, whose marriage, if you could call it that, was arranged by the guards, as a reward for hard work. did they live together? did they see each other every day? >> translator: no. you can't live together. my mother and my father were separated. and only when they worked hard could they be together. >> did they love each other? >> translator: i don't know. in my eyes, we were not a family. we were just prisoners. >> how do you mean? >> translator: you wear what you're given. you eat what you're given. and you only do what you're told to do. so, there's nothing that the parents can do for you. and there's nothing that the children can do for their parents.
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>> this may be a very dumb question. but did you even know what love was when you were -- for the first 23 years of your life? >> translator: i still don't know what that means. >> love may have been absent. but fear was not. in this building, a school of sorts, shin says he watched his teacher beat a little girl to death for hoarding a few kernels of corn. a violation of prison rules, which he and the other students were required to learn by heart. >> translator: if you escaped, you would be shot. if you trieded to escape, or planned to escape, you would be shot. if you did not report someone who was trying to escape, you would be shot. >> the shootings took place in this field, he says. the other prisoners were required to watch. as frightening as the executions were, shin considered them as a break from the monotony of hard
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labor and constant hunger. prisoners were fed the same, thin gruel of corn meal and cabbage, day in and day out. they were so hungry, shin says, they ate rats and insects to survive. for 23 years, you were always hungry? >> translator: yes, of course. we were always hungry. and the guards always told us, through hunger, you will repent. >> what shin and his family were repenting for probably dates back to the korean war, when two of his uncles reportedly defected to the south. shin believes that's why his father and grandfather were sent to camp 14. and why he was supposed to live there until he died. north korea's first dictator, kim ill song, issued this practice of three generations of punishment back in the 1950s. >> the idea is to eliminate this lineage. to eliminate the family on the theory that if the grandfather was a counterrevolutionary, the father and the grandsons would be opposed to the regime, as well.
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>> david hawk is a human rights investigator who's interviewed dozens of former prisoners and guards from the six political prison camps operating in north korea today. >> the largest number of people in the prison camps are those who are the children or grandchildren of people considered to be wrong doers or wrong thinkers. >> i've never heard of anything like that. >> it's unique in the 20th or 21st century. mao didn't do it. stalin didn't do it. hitler tried to exterminate entire families. but in the post-world war ii world, it's only korea that had this practice. >> reporter: north korea denies it has any political prisons. but refuses to allow outside observers to inspect camp 14 and other sites. there's no way to verify all the details of shin's story. do you believe his story? >> oh, sure. his story is consistent with the
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testimony of other prisoners, in every respect. >> there's also physical evidence he carries around with him to this day. the tip of his finger is missing. he says, it was chopped off as punishment when he accidentally broke a machine in a prison factory. he also has serious scars on his back, stomach and ankles, which he was willing to show us, but embarrassed to show on camera. he says he received those wounds here in an underground torture center. he was tortured because his mother and older brother were accused of trying to escape. he was just 13 years old at the time. did they think that you were involved in the escape? >> translator: i'm sure they did. >> how did they torture you? >> translator: they hung me by the ankles. and they tortured me with fire. and from the scars that i have, the wounds on my body, i think they couldn't have done more to me.
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>> shin says he tried to convince his interrogators he wasn't part of the escape plot. he didn't know if they believed him until one day when they took him to that field used for executions. >> translator: when i went to the public execution site, i thought that i might be killed. i was brought to the very front. that's where i saw my mother and my brother being dragged out. and that's when i knew that it wasn't me. >> how did they kill your mother? >> translator: they hung her. and they shot my brother. >> he speaks of it still without visible emotion. and admits he felt no sadness watching his mother and brother die. he thought they got what they deserved. they had, after all, broken the prison rules. >> he believed the rules of the camp, like gospel. >> blaine harden is a veteran foreign correspondent who first reported shin's story in "the washington post" and later wrote a book about his life.
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he had no compass by which to judge his behavior. >> he had a compass, but the compass were the rules of the camp. the only compass he had. and it was only when he was 23, when he met somebody from the outside, that that started to change. >> when he met park. >> when he met park. >> park was a prisoner that he met in camp 14's tax tile factory. he had seen the outside world. he lived in pyongyang and traveled in china. he begin to tell shin what life was like on the other side of the fence. >> translator: i paid most attention to what kind of food he ate outside the camp. >> what kind of food had he eaten? >> translator: a lot of things. broiled chicken, barbecued pig. the most important thing was the thought that even a prisoner like me could eat chicken and pork, if i were able to escape the barbed wires. >> i heard people define freedom in many ways. i never heard someone define it
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as broiled chicken. >> translator: i still think of freedom in that way. >> really? that's what freedom means to you? >> translator: people can eat what they want. it can be the greatest gift from god. >> you were ready to die, just to get a good meal? >> translator: yes. >> he got his chance in january 2005, when he says he and park were gathering firewood in this remote area near the electrified fence. as the sun began to set, they decided to make a run for it. >> as they ran towards the fence, shin slipped in the snow. it was a snowy ridge. fell on his face. park got to the fence first. and thrust his body between the first and second strand. pulled down that bottom wire. and was immediately electrocuted. >> how did you get past him? >> translator: i crawled over his back. >> you literally climbed over him. >> yeah. >> he's a fugitive now, in rural north korea. on the run in one of the poorest, most repressive countries in the world. but that's not how it seemed to him.
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what did the outside look like? >> translator: it was like heaven. people were laughing and talking as they wanted. they were wearing what they wanted. it was very shocking. >> how did you manage to get out of north korea? >> translator: i was just trying to get away from the camp. and i ended up going north. and on the northern side, people talked a lot about china. >> did you know where china was? >> translator: no. not at all. it just happened that the way i was going was toward the border. >> with amazing luck and cunning, shin managed to steal and bribe his way across the border. and quietly work his way through china, where he would have been sent back, if he was caught. in shanghai, he snuck into the south korean consulate and was granted asylum. in 2006, he arrived in south korea, with not a friend in the world. he was so overwhelmed by culture shock and posttraumatic stress, he had to be hospitalized. more than seven years later,
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it's remarkable how far shin's come. he's 30 now. has made friends and built a new life for himself in seoul, south korea. but old demons from camp 14 are never far behind. and shin now admits there was something he was hiding. two years ago, he finally confessed to author blaine harden. >> when he first told me about the execution of his mother and brother, he didn't say that he had turned them in. >> you reported your mother and your brother? >> translator: yes. >> what did you hope to get out of reporting your mother and your brother? >> translator: being full for the first time. >> more food? >> translator: yes. but the biggest reason was, i was supposed to report it. >> why was shin tortured after ratting out his mother and brother? >> the guard who he ratted out to did not tell his superiors that he got the information from shin. >> so, the guard was trying to
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claim credit? >> yes. >> it was only after seeing what family life was like outside camp 14 that shin says he started to feel guilt about what he had done to his own mother and brother. >> translator: my mother and brother, if i could meet them through a time machine, i would like to go back and apologize. by telling this story, i think i can compensate, kind of repent for what i did. >> repentance has taken shin all over the world. he speaks at human rights rallies, meets with u.s. congressmen, and is telling his story to us, in part, because he's frustrated by how much attention the press pays to north korea's new leader, kim jong-un and his wife. and how little attention gets paid to the people in the camps. in south korea, he and friends started an internet talk show,
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designed to tell the world what's really going on in the north. as for the taste of freedom he risked his life for, he can eat all the broiled chicken he wants now. but admit it hasn't given him the satisfaction i hope for. >> translator: when i eat something good or laugh with friends or make some money, i'm excited. but that's only momentary. and in moments, i worry again. >> you worry about what now? >> translator: what i worry about are the people in the prison camps. children are still being born there. and somebody's probably being executed. >> do you think about that a lot? >> yeah. >> the world focuses on the north korean missile launch, tonight, we think of all those still in camp 14 and the other prison camps in north korea. let us know what you think. follow me at twitter @andersoncooper. i'll be tweeting tonight. you next, the lives lost in the oregon mall shooting, the young life saved and the search for what turned a 22-year-old
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into a masked killer.
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welcome back. we're learning more about the shooting rampage at a shopping mall outside portland, oregon. before we bring you the latest on the killer and the crime, i want to take a moment and recognize the two people who lost their lives. cindy ann yuille and matthew forsyth. he was 54 years old, had two children. coached youth children and had a zest for life. cindy was a nurse and people say she also put others first. a third victim, 15-year-old kristina shevchenko is recovering. she may need more surgeries to fully heal. she and cindy and matthew were shot last evening, at the clackamas town center, by this young man. police say he was acting alone and took his own life as police arrived on the scene. >> during this attack, he was armed with an ar-15 semiautomatic rifle.
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the rifle was stolen yesterday from a person known to the suspect. at the time of the attack, he was wearing a load-bearing vest, not a bulletproof vest as earlier reported by some outlets. he was also wearing a hockey-style face mask. and we have not yet been able to establish how many shots were fired during the attack, although we believe he was carrying several fully loaded magazines. >> a friend of the killer tells cnn he can't believe he did this. a friend of his mother, meantime, gave the following letter to a local tv station. it reads, quote, tami roberts wishes to express her shock and grief at the events at clackamas town center on tuesday. she has no understanding or explanation for her son's behavior and requests that her privacy be respected. more now for a search for a motive and a search for answers
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from kyung lah. >> anybody standing behind us, they're going to have problems. >> reporter: housemates of jacob taylor roberts avoided our questions. not willing to talk about what might have led roberts to open fire on holiday shoppers. >> yeah. i've seen him there. >> reporter: neighbors say the 22-year-old moved in about six months ago, renting the basement of this portland house. bobbi bates last saw him yesterday when he left at 1:30 in the afternoon. >> he just came out. and he didn't wave or anything. came out with a guitar case in the car. >> reporter: two hours later, the 911 calls were coming in from the clackamas town center. roberts, wearing a hockey mask and firing a stolen ar-15 semiautomatic rifle was making his way through the mall. >> all i heard is, i am the shooter. and then shots rang out. five, six shots. by that time i hit the floor and i just ran out. i started telling anyone and everyone i saw, there's a shooting going on. don't go in there. >> reporter: police say the only reason he didn't kill more people, his rifle jammed.
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he had several fully loaded magazines. officers back at roberts' house are still trying to piece together what caused this man to fire into crowds of people before killing himself. >> at this time, we do not understand the motive of this attack except to say that there's no apparent relationship between the suspect and his victims. >> my son did grow up with jake. and i can tell you he was a very good boy and it's very shocking. >> reporter: family friends say roberts show nod warning signs. there was this, though, perhaps a sign of a gun fascination on his facebook page. it shows a man firing a handgun. friends say roberts had been a popular boy at his high school and love by his mother who shared this statement, read by a friend. >> she is very sad and wants everyone to know that she's so sorry what jake did. it's so out of his character. >> kyung lah joins me now. when you consider the kind of
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weapon he was carrying, it's kind of amazing he didn't kill more people. but if the gun jammed, how was he able to kill himself? >> reporter: it's a little bit of a miracle. and the police will point out they don't know how this happened. the gun did jam. and it jammed early on in the food court. the suspect, then, started to run. it was during that process that police say for some reason the gun unjammed. and so, that's when the suspect took his own life after he had run away from the crowd in the food court. but that gun jamming, anderson, police say they just call that a miracle. >> and we've been hearing a lot of stories of people who helped other people in the midst of all this incredibly frightening situation. >> reporter: absolutely. the police say what really shows up here for them isn't the damage that this suspect did. they say they want to focus on all the people who chipped in to help each other.
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first of all, all the 10,000 people inside the mall, they stayed calm. they helped each other. there was a doctor in that crowd. there were nurses. they immediately started treating people on the ground. and they say, police say, they hope that's something they learn from all of this. >> yes, one of the witnesses went towards a woman who was wounded and ultimately killed. and a nurse showed up. i guess that was a nurse who just happened to be in the mall as well. appreciate your reporting on that. have scientists discovered how being gay or lesbian is passed from parents to their children? a new study claims to have found a possible explanation. we'll talk to dr. drew pinsky about that. ou open up a charge card account with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock to relentlessly protect what matters most... [beeping...] helping stop crooks before your identity is attacked.
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use promo code: gethelp. if you're not completely satisfied, notify lifelock and you won't pay a cent. order now and also get this shredder to keep your documents out of the wrong hands-- a $29 dollar value, free. get protected now. call the number on your screen or go to to try lifelock protection risk free for a full 60 days. use promo code: gethelp. plus get this document shredder free-- but only if you act right now. call the number on your screen now! former u.s. marine jailed in mexico has been there since august after a surfing vacation took a terrifying turn. tonight, johnny hammar's parents
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are pleading for help, ahead on "360."
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for a long time, scientists have asked if being gay is genetic. so far no one has identified a gay gene, so to speak.
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but now, a group of researchers have discovered how it may be passed from parent to child. not through genes themselves. but through something called epi genetics and epi marks. the new study claims that epi marks may be passed down between generations. it's complicated and it's a controversial theory that hasn't been tested on actual people. the researchers used a mathematical model. but it certainly raises a lot of questions. dr. drew pinsky joins me now. epi genetics, epi marks, what are they? i never heard of them. >> it's really where the rubber hits the road in genetics these days. everyone is aware that dna is where the genetic code is laid down. but how the code is transcribed is really what epi genetics is all about. it's a way of thinking about it, perhaps oversimplified, but consider a sentence. if you have a sentence and you just pick up in the middle of that sentence randomly and try to understand that sentence or manage the meaning of that sentence, can be severely altered. the same is true of the genetic code.
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where and how the code is transcribed is very much involved in how those codes are expressed in the cells. in this particular case, what they are seeing is that there appears to be something that affects -- creates a resistance the effects of testosterone in some males can pass from the mother to the boy and similarly from dads to daughters. >> so, they are saying it's not father to son but father to daughter, mother to son? >> exactly. what they are saying is that in females, there's a lot of -- in the uterus when we're developing changes in testosterone levels that we're exposed to. and they are saying that there has to be an epi that limits the testosterone on a female. that's a phenomenon that can be, in some cases, passed from the female, from mom to son. and similarly, in the dads,
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there has to be epi genetic mechanism that allows the testosterone to have full effect, that can perhaps go to girls, as well. where it gets a bit of a stretch is, what they're saying is, perhaps moms factors doesn't allow a son to masculinize. and dad's factors perhaps over masculinize in the female. for me, that's the greatest assumption and stretch in this theory. >> at this point, it is a theory. this is based on mathematics more than science, right? >> that's exactly right. and it's something that -- science is very fearful of going forward and studying because of the politicization of is homosexuality genetic or not. when you study every human behavior, there's a component from genetic and a component from environment. there's biological components here. an it's incumbent upon science to really nail down what the mechanisms are. >> one question about the genetic thing, if it was purely
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genetics, some scientists say it would die out over time because gay people -- i guess, in large numbers, have not been procreating. and therefore, passing, if there is a gay gene, passing it down. but if it's these epi marks, that would explain how it is passed from generation to generation. is that right? >> that's exactly right. right. that's one of the theories as to why these genetic elements or these biological elements have not died out in the human population over millions of years. in fact, they've stayed quite steady. if it were purely genetics, the genes don't get passed along. but the epi genetic mechanisms can get passed along. >> interesting. dr. drew, thank you very much. >> thanks, anderson. it started as a relaxing trip to ride the waves in costa rica. but it ended with a former marine in a mexican prison. it's been there since august.
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and there's questions about why he was arrested. his parents are pleading for his release. first, we have a 360 bulletin. >> speaker john boehner is telling house republicans not to make christmas break plans because they might have to work through the holiday on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. the warning comes after president obama talked with boehner last night on the phone. sources say it was a tense conversation. experts warn of a new recession if a deal can't be reached in 20 days. new jersey governor chris christie says it's ridiculous to say he couldn't be president because of his weight. he pushed back at his critics in an interview with abc's barbara walters. the republican governor is rumored to be considering a bid for the white house in 2016. and, anderson, pope benedict xvi blessed his internet followers in his first tweet today. the pontiff has nearly 1 million followers on this english twitter page alone. and has many other accounts in several other languages. some say he is the coolest pope in history.
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>> isha, thanks very much. a former u.s.afghanistan. now, his parents fear he may die in a mexican prison. they're pleading for his safe return after what began as a surfing trip, it's turned into a nightma nightmare. w?
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a new twist in the bizarre story of millionaire internet pioneer john mcafee. police in belize want to question him about his neighbor's death but he fled to guatemala and was detained there and is on the move again. we'll tell you where to ahead.
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tonight, new information about a former u.s. marine who's been in prison in mexico since august. his name is johnny hammar. he's 27 years old. and until recently, the story hasn't been known outside his immediate family. now, his parents are speaking out. you're going to hear from them in a moment when i interview them. their son's story is finally getting the kind of traction that his parents hope will bring him home. u.s. senator bill nelson brought hammar's plight to the senate floor yesterday. >> bring this marine home,
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mexican government. and now that you have a new president just installed in mexico, the relations with the united states are especially important to treat the united states' citizens who are peaceful in their intent, innocent in their observation of the mexican laws, where no harm has been done. send that u.s. marine back to america and back to his family in miami. >> senator nelson spoke for nearly six minutes vowing to keep pressing for hammar's release. so, how did he end up in prison to begin with? frankly, the deeper we dig into the story, it gets stranger and stranger. like many other veterans of iraq and afghanistan, johnny hammar has suffered with posttraumatic stress disorder. a lifelong surfer, he finds peace on the water riding waves. after completing a ptsd treatment program last summer, he set off to go on a surfing trip to costa rica. and that's when his life took a
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terrifying turn. here's gary tuchman. >> reporter: johnny hammar is an american war veteran. he was a marine, serving in infantry in afghanistan and iraq. he decided to drive with a fellow marine from florida in a winnebago, all the way through mexico, to costa rico, for a surfing vacation. >> he had been there before and surfed. they took every single decent board that he had. >> reporter: he knew it was mexico but he wasn't planning on staying in mexico? >> no. the only reason they were going to stop was to get more gas. >> reporter: his parents were concerned when he said he wanted to bring an antique sears and roebuck shotgun that his great grandfather once owned. one this looks just like this. his parents said he wanted to be able to hunt with it. he got the proper forms from u.s. border agents to declare it. but once he did declare it, the nightmare began. how far was he from the united states of america when he was arrested? >> he was on the border.
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he was crossing the border. >> reporter: so, he was a few feet away from america? >> or less. >> reporter: his friend was released. but johnny was brought to this jail charged with violating the strict gun laws. his parents were told the jail is controlled by drug cartel members. a few nights after he was imprisoned, his parents got a call from someone threatening to kill their son unless the parents paid money. >> so, then he said, i have your son. and he said i'm going to "f" him up. and he said and i already have. and for some stupid reason my response was oh, no, i'm going to call the consulate. and he put johnny on the phone. and i couldn't believe it. and then i realized, i was like, oh, my god. and i really thought he wasn't in the prison. i thought someone's taken him out of the prison because i just
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couldn't conceive of this going on in a government facility. >> reporter: what did johnny tell you? >> he said, mom, you need to do whatever they say. and he said, they are really serious. >> reporter: the hammars never heard from the caller again. although the u.s. consulate has heard from this from the beginning, they kept the story out of the press scared that attention could be bad for their son. but increasingly desperate, they are speaking out now. >> the longer we go on with him in there, the greater chance that he's not going to get out alive. >> reporter: the hammar's congresswoman heads up the house committee on foreign affairs. the family has just informed her about this. >> this is outrageous. and i'm asking for the state department to be more proactive. i have communicated with them. i've communicated with our u.s. ambassador in mexico. this week, i meet with the mexican ambassador to the united states. and enough is enough. >> reporter: their son had looked forward to a surfing
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vacation. now, he's past the four-month mark in a mexican prison. he talked to his parents on the phone friday. >> i said, johnny, we're going to get you out. and he said, mom, you've been telling me that since august. >> gary, you went to the u.s. consulate in mexico not far from the prison where johnny hammar is being held. what are officials saying about the situation? >> reporter: well, first, we should point out, anderson, johnny's parents don't think the consulate is doing a particularly good job. the consulate did get him out of the general inmate population, this is considered safer but they think the consulate has been surprisingly indifferent. we're on the texas side of the border. the rio grand is behind me. two miles is the consulate. right now it's not particularly safe for us to do live reporting in mexico. but a couple hours we were there during daylight. it's a heavily fortified building. there's an armed guard outside. there are large walls and gates.
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i talked to the boss there, the consul general. and the consul general told me when i asked him questions about what the parents were saying, that he was unable to get clearance from washington to talk to us. so, we needed to talk to the state department from washington to find out what the consulate was doing. this is what the state department told us, they gave us this statement. the consulate is following mr. hammar's case closely as it proceeds through the mexican judicial system. we are in constant contact with mr. hammar's lawyers and family and we'll continue to monitor his safety and well-being throughout his detention. members of the consulate have seen him, anderson, in prison, three times. but the fact is, four months, johnny hammar is still there. he wasn't all over the country with the gun. he presented the gun at the border checkpoint right behind me and now he's in jail for four months. >> gary, appreciate the reporting. as you heard from gary, johnny hammar's parents have been afraid to go public with their son's story.
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they are speaking out with urgency. they want you to know about him. you can imagine how awful the last several months have been for them. i spoke to olivia and jon hammar earlier. i can't imagine what this has been like for you and your family. how are you holding up? >> just trying to take it one day at a time and praying that this exposure helps get him home. >> and, jon, you actually went down to visit your son. what are the conditions like that -- where he's held? >> they are horrible. third-world facilities. and it's not, you know, a secure facility either. and, you know, the road out there from town is -- you know, has problems daily. i was not authorized to go out there by the state department. i had to go on my own. >> i read you or olivia say that you believe he's actually being chained to a bed at times? >> yes. you know, it's not a very secure situation that he's in because
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the state department got him isolated from the main facilities that is run by the cartel. but the area that he's in isn't really a facility for housing a prisoner. it's a -- you know, a makeshift closet storage area, next to guard offices. and so, you know, i suspect to give them some relief every now and then the guards will chain him to the bed because they feel like there's this guy over here. and he could run away and we'll get in trouble. and then the consulate will go out there and tell them, no, you can't do that, every month or so. but it's a back and forth contest. >> you said the cartel is running the prison. you mean a drug cartel is running the prison that your son is in? >> the main part of the prison, 90% of the prison where the actual prisoners are, the
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facilities, you know, is -- once you get in those doors, the cartel controls it. or seems to, because we get calls, you know, from inside the prison saying, you know, this is not about the police. this is about us. and this is our house and if you don't do -- send money, we're going to kill your son. here's your son on the phone. >> so, you're saying people from the prison are actually calling you extorting money, trying to extort money from you? >> in august that's how this started. that was our first phone call on this. >> how much money did they want? >> they asked for $1,800. we said, we'll send it, tell us how. and they said, we'll call you back with a western union account number. and so when they hung up, we called the state department. >> and at some point the calls stopped. but it took us about three days for the consulate to be able to get back out there and confirm
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that he had been isolated. >> and, olivia, you say that the mexican military sent a letter about the particular type of weapon john had to the judge and prosecutor. what was the letter and did it have any impact? >> the letter essentially -- because the crime that he's charged with is possession of a weapon restricted for military use. so, the marino de mexico, which is an arm of the military in mexico, sent a letter to the judge and the prosecutor saying that this particular weapon is not on their, quote, forbidden list. and they have just declined to, you know, give that any weight. >> jon, what are you hoping mexican officials will do? what do you want them to do? >> i'm appealing to the mexican government to put pressure through the trial court to come to some reasonable conclusion that we can get our son home and alive after, you know, he's been
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returned from war alive. this would be a tragedy that i don't know how we would stand losing him this way. >> well, jon and olivia, i'm so sorry you're going through this. we'll continue to follow it. thank you so mh. >> thank you. in syria, u.s. officials say the government has made another bold move firing scud missiles at the opposition. the latest developments ahead.
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anderson's back in a moment. first, a 360 news bulletin. a u.s. official says syrian
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government troops have fired at least four scud missiles presumably at opposition fighters. the official says u.s. military satellites picked up the infrared signature of the missiles when they were launched from the damascus area into northern syria. computer software developer john mcafee is back in miami tonight. a post on his blog says he's in a south beach hotel after weeks on the run. mcafee fled belize where authorities want to question him about his neighbor's death. he ended up in immigration detention in guatemala. his lawyer say that police let him return to the u.s. mcafee says he has nothing to do with the death. and kim maria of birmingham, alabama turned 12 today on 12/12/12 at 12:12 p.m. he had a special way of honoring the moment. >> today at 12:12 p.m., what are you going to do?
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>> i'm going to yell out "holla" as loud as i can. >> you're allowed. it's your birthday. >> are you going to be in class when you yell out holla? >> yes. and in tonight's connection, it used to be when it came to bike and motorcycle helmets, the only smart part was the head underneath it. not anymore. at meet the crash sensor. it attaches to your helmet and pairs with your smartphone. get in a serious wreck and the phone notifies emergency contacts and displays vital medical information. anderson is back with the "ridiculist" after this. get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other,
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which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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time, now, for the "ridiculist." don't you love this time of year? the lights, the trees, the music, the parties. but i have to say, nothing really says happy holidays quite as much as a strip club in arkansas. >> we're having a campaign for the month of december, called toys for tatas. you come in and bring a toy to donate a toy for the toy drive we're having and we'll give you two for one lap dances for as many toys as you bring. >> isn't that sweet? the fine folks at the platinum cabaret in fayetteville are putting the pole back into the north pole for christmas. ho, ho, ho. it's a two-for-one lap dance. i'll never think of dancer, prancer and vixen quite the same again. thank you, platinum cabaret. don't get me wrong. this is for a great cause,
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toys for tots which collects gifts for underprivileged kids. although the organizer says the strip club didn't run the idea by him. >> i really knew nothing about it. it's certainly not something we have been made aware of or would have endorsed. as long as it's done in a legal manner and people are bringing us new, unwrapped toys, we don't get into how they were gathered or what the process was. >> what the process was. so we did a little checking. believe it or not, the concept of toys for tatas not confined to the greater fayetteville area. oh, no. there's a toys for tatas event in scottsdale, arizona, where they are apparently giving away breast augmentation because there's nothing like surgery to get you in the festive holiday mood. and at rick's cabaret, they had a toys for tatas, complete with complementary buffet. yum. who doesn't love a buffet? you want to get into the spirit and strip clubs really aren't